What is an Unearned Run in Baseball? – Earned vs Unearned

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what is an unearned run-in baseball

An unearned run in baseball refers to a scored run that has been a product of an error or a passed ball. Among the positions in baseball, the pitcher is responsible for unearned runs.

Unearned runs are present in the rulebook of both baseball and softball. However, this concept is not as straightforward as it revolves around an error made in the field. So, what is an unearned run in baseball?

Unearned Runs: The Baseball Definition


Given the acronym UER, the baseball unearned run is defined simply as a scored run as a result of passed balls or errors.

The errors are judged by the official scorer to determine if that run would have been successful in granting a score even if the error had not happened.

1. Pitchers and Unearned Runs

Similar to other members of the team, the pitcher would also hope to score a point and win the game. Pitchers come running after pitching to get their edge over the opponent.

But pitchers play the most role in unearned runs. Other team members are just here to ensure that the run will not be crossing the plate.

Pitchers will not have a diminished earned run average (ERA) when they commit unearned runs. However, this is still detrimental to the player as it can push the pitcher to an early exit and get replaced.

Teamwork must ensure that no unearned runs occur to prevent pushing their chances of winning down the drain. The team must ensure that all runs after an error unearned work for them and bring them sure scores.

You would not want to have the run-ruled. Run ruled mean in baseball is that when a game is called over as one team is ahead by 15 or 10 runs after three and five innings, respectively.

2. The Rules and Purpose


The unearned run rules primarily revolve around errors and what the official scorer has to say. If the team would still score even without the occurrence of the error, then this causes a run to score.

So what is its purpose? The unearned run can name instances that the pitcher allowed for a run to happen even with an error occurring. This is a flaw on the part of the pitcher as they are tasked to prevent both earned and unearned runs.

Furthermore, an unearned run opens opportunities for errors of varying intensities. For instance, it can produce poorer defense on the team playing.

3. Examples of Unearned Runs


Here is an example of unearned runs: When a batter hits a home run, it is unearned as it is considered an error.

4. The Mystery of an Unearned Run


There are not many particular scenarios in baseball that are labeled as unearned runs. Usually, these are difficult to find out.

Luckily, the trained official scorers would be best at deciphering an unearned run and imposing the appropriate course of action.

Earned vs. Unearned Media Runs in Baseball

The primary difference between an earned and an unearned run is the presence of an error. If this is present, then an unearned run has taken place. On the other hand, no errors mean that the run has been rightfully earned.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do you determine if a run is earned or unearned?

An earned run in baseball is a run that was carried out by an offensive team as they played with integrity and competency versus the defensive team.

On the other hand, an unearned run would not have its supposed point if it was not helped by any form of an error made by the defensive team.

Can a home run by an unearned run?

Usually, the home run not an earned run in most cases. The pitcher is not earning that point.

How can a home run be unearned? This is an error that allows the other team to score as the player hits the ball onto the right field.

Is a walk an unearned run?

There is no one answer on whether walks are earned or unearned. The entire scenario encompasses a wide range of factors that contribute to decision-making.

Are runs scored on a balk an earned run?

A balk is when a pitcher did some illicit movement that reflects an intention to deceive the runners. However, a run scored on balks is earned.


What is an unearned run in baseball? This article has proved that it is indeed a mysterious concept.

Unearned runs are defined as scores that occur due to an error or passed ball. The pitcher plays a massive role in committing these kinds of runs but would not have their ERAs degraded with these errors.

It can be difficult to explain the scenarios of earned and unearned runs as they have a case-to-case analysis.

At the end of the day, we have our trusted official scorers to help determine the correct rules applied on whatever run came into play!

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